Barclays faces '£1bn lawsuit' over 2008 financial crisis deal

Lender believes claim made by instigator of £3.5bn deal with Abu Dhabi client to be ‘misconceived and without merit’

The dealmaker who played a key role in finding backers for Barclays’ emergency fundraising during the 2008 financial crisis has filed a lawsuit against the lender and is reportedly seeking nearly £1bn.

A spokesman for Amanda Staveley confirmed the existence of the claim but declined to put a figure on the total being sought by the financier and her firm, PCP Capital Partners. However, the Financial Times reported that Staveley is suing for almost £1bn.

Staveley, who is using the London law firm Fladgate for the dispute, is believed to be arguing that the bank has not fully paid the fees due to her for setting in motion a crucial investment, said to be worth around £3.5bn, from Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In the aftermath of the financial crash, Barclays was desperate to bolster its balance sheet to stay out of the hands of the Labour-led UK government. Its share price plunged as a government rescue, as was needed by Lloyds Bank and RBS, became a very real threat.

PCP Capital Partners is going ahead with the dispute against Barclays, which will be defended by an entirely new management team to the one embroiled in the controversy in 2008. The claim from PCP is likely to include an element for damages, a source said.

According to the Financial Times, Barclays said in a statement: “We believe the claim against Barclays is misconceived and without merit and Barclays will be vigorously defending it.”

Full details of the case are expected to be unveiled in official court documents in 14 days’ time.

As well as Staveley’s clients, the bank also attracted investment from a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority. That part of the deal is currently the subject of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Staveley, 42, has always had extensive connections in the Middle East. Born and raised in Yorkshire, she was based in Dubai for several years but has now relocated to London.

When asked in a 2011 interview to explain her success in leading deals, she said: “I can see an opportunity or a problem faster than any lawyer. I can see a document and find a hole in it, or I can understand what I can put in to make the contract work.”

Staveley has been involved in several high-profile deals throughout her career. In 2008, she brokered the acquisition of Manchester City Football Club, also with Sheikh Mansour. She often invests her company’s own cash alongside her clients’ investment.


David Hellier

The GuardianTramp

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